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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Sam Hawkins has devoted his life to king and country, so when he's ordered to assassinate a traitor, he doesn't hesitate....but there is a witness. A beautiful witness in the form of his victim's wife. Now he is holding her captive until he gets orders on what to do. In the meantime, she is captivating him. Lady Elise Dunthrope has never been accepted. England has never accepted her because of her French birth and the French don't want much to do with her. She knew her husband was up to something bad and she planned to find out what and expose him but things don't go according go plan. Instead of ease-dropping on a meeting with a traitor, she witnesses her husband's murder and is kidnapped. Now she's held by a ruthless man who fascinates her. She should hate him, but how can she hate the man who killed that cruel bastard that called himself her husband?
I really want to say I loved this and rave about how amazing it is. This is the first physical book a publisher has ever sent me for review. It was unsolicited, but that almost makes it better. I didn't ask for it and they sent it to me anyway. I desperately wanted to adore it with every fiber of my being. I don't, though. I don't hate it, either. It just falls into that hard to review mehish middle ground. I'm not even sure what to tell you.
Sam and Elise are both interesting characters, but I didn't fall head-over-heels for either of them. Sam's a bit too stiff for me, stickler for the rules and determined to never love again. Elise just seemed a bit too dull. She was a poor French girl who married to please her uncle and regretted it. There's nothing particularly spectacular about either of them.
The writing was well done, but also a bit lackluster. Again, it isn't bad, just dull. I've read a lot of amazing historical romance novels so I have high standards. Julia Quinn, Laura Lee Guhrke, Debra Mullins, and so many more have mastered this genre and refined my taste quite a bit. I know when I come across an great one and this just didn't measure up to my standards. I've been spoiled by just reading HR from authors I know will please me.
The plot was interesting, but wholly predictable. I can't say more without spoilers.
I really hate reviewing novels that elicit this type of response from me. If I love it, I can rave about it's awesomeness and if I hate it I can rant about it's terribleness. If I don't have strong feelings either way, what is there to say? Sometimes I don't even realize how ambivalent I am towards a novel until I start to write the review and have little to nothing to say. What you really need to know is that this is a mediocre historical romance. Maybe I'm just not into the spy-type HR, but it didn't strike me as a spectacular novel. Hopefully you'll like it more than I did!
****Thank you to Piatkus for providing me with a physical copy in exchange for an honest review****